This was my first year signing up as a book giving volunteer for World Book Night. I had initially wanted to arrange to organise a giving event with a local youth charity who run a juice bar local to me. I was hoping to give the books out at the juice bar and talk to the local young people about reading and books. Unfortunately despite numerous attempts to speak to the charities organisers I had no luck getting a response.
So I switched to Plan B! I live in a very low-income area with over 53% of the housing in the area being social housing and 34% unemployment*, so books aren’t high on people’s priority list, our local library is unmanned and consists of a couple of shelves within the council office and it’s not inspiring!
We do have access to some lovely green space though, the nearest to me is Kingsweston House, it very much looks like a National Trust property but is privately owned. Local people go walking there and it’s popular with dog walkers.
I headed here on 23 April wandering around here, leaving a few books in strategic places where people rest, and also stopping to speak to a few walkers about books and giving them copies of my book. It was really rewarding and so nice to see people’s faces light up at getting a book for free.
I also gave a couple of books to my mental health team for sharing within their office, the work they do is outstanding, they have been such an amazing support to me and it was a pleasure to be able to give something back to them.
A couple of books went to colleagues of my Husband who don’t read, one of them started reading her copy on her lunch break the same day she received the book which was really rewarding to hear.
I’ve also saved a couple of books for the staff at my GP surgery as they are fantastic, these will be dropped off in the next few days.
Taking part in World Book Night has been thoroughly rewarding and I’m honoured to have been a part of it and I hope I get to take part next year. I hope that everyone who received a free book enjoys it and discovers a new hobby in reading!
* Figures sourced from here